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Better Use of Skills in the Workplace

Why It Matters for Productivity and Local Jobs

image of Better Use of Skills in the Workplace

This joint OECD-ILO report provides a comparative analysis of case studies focusing on improving skills use in the workplace across eight countries. The examples provide insights into the practical ways in which employers interact with government services and policies at the local level. They highlight the need to build policy coherence across employment, skills, economic development and innovation policies, and underline the importance of ensuring that skills utilisation is built into policy development thinking and implementation.

Skills utilisation concerns the extent to which skills are effectively applied in the workplace to maximise workplace and individual performance. It involves a mix of policies including work organisation, job design, technology adaptation, innovation, employee-employer relations, human resource development practices and business-product market strategies. It is often at the local level that the interface of these factors can best be addressed.

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Preface

There are both economic and social reasons to look at how to better use skills and talent in the workplace. Workers who better use their skills are more likely to have greater job satisfaction, earn better wages and are more prepared to adapt to changes in the nature of work. Employers benefit from a more productive and innovative workforce, enabling them to maximise business performance and profitability. Despite these potential benefits, workers across the OECD report that their skills are not fully utilised in the workplace. This gap represents a drag on local economic development placing downward pressure on job quality as well as economic diversification opportunities.

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